Conley Nelson, a pork producer from Iowa and general manager of Smithfield’s hog production division in the Midwest, will conclude his one-year term as the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) chair in November.
He reflected on his tenure in the audio clip below, noting that despite trade difficulties, U.S. red meat exports had successes over the last year.
“There’s a lot of success stories out there, we’ve got our established markets, but there are emerging markets doing a lot better, like Columbia for pork and beef going into Taiwan,” Nelson says. “And we’re starting to put a presence in Africa, and we’re excited about that.”
Although Nelson spent most of his career in the pork industry, his time at USMEF gave him opportunities for learning other industries.
“I’m very familiar with everything going on as it relates to pork, but in my role as chairman, I saw similarities this year. People are worried about labor, they’re worried about succession, getting young people into agriculture. There’s a lot more commonalities with livestock producers than there are differences,” he says.